Would You Consider Testicular Implants?

Each year, thousands of men lose their testicles as a result of various medical conditions such as prostate cancer, atrophy, testicular tumors, trauma, torsion (twisted testicles), undescended testicles, cryptorchidism, agenesis, intersex disorder, and edididymo-orchitis. The absence or lack of a testicle(s) can be very psychologically traumatic for men as the absence of a uterus or breast in women.

Since the 1940s, testicular implants have been used to address this problem. In this surgical procedure the removed or missing testicle is replaced for either cosmetic or reconstructive reasons. It not only restores the normal appearance of the scrotum, but also restores the quality of life.

Who needs a testicular implant?

There are many reasons people consider having a testicular implant. So who needs this procedure? Children and adult males who have undescended testicles and torsion of testicles usually undergo this procedure.

A testicular implant may also be necessary for those who have testicular cancer or a traumatic injury to the testicles. A testicular implant is also an option for men who have very small, deformed, or a nonfunctioning testicle(s).

However, testicular implants are not appropriate for some cases. For example, men who have untreated infection, cancer, some forms of trauma, or are following radiotherapy would not be suitable for a testicular implant..

What are the types of testicular implants?

Different materials have been used as testicular prostheses such as silicone, polyethylene, glass, dacron and vitallium alloy. In response to the call to review the safety of these materials, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began to regulating implant materials in 1976.

At present, there are three types of implants available – Mentor’s saline-filled testicular implant, Mentor’s Soft-Solid Device, and Silimed’s Silicone Elastomer Device.

However, only the first one has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a testicular prosthesis for implantation. The other two types are available only as part of a research protocol.

What are the complications and side effects of testicular implants?

Like any other surgical operation, testicular implants may result in post-operative complications and side effects. Infection is the most common complication. Others include poor wound healing and hematoma or blood loss into the surrounding tissue. Although very rare, side effects of anesthesia can be very serious.

Testicular implants patient satisfaction research

In a study published in the October 2001 issue of BJU International, it was found that 73% of the 71 survey participants who had a testicular implant were satisfied with the result. This suggests that testicular implant may boost confidence and self-esteem.